Who is Really Watching What: Tips for Getting Your OTT/CTV Ads in Front of the Right Audience


For almost 80 years, traditional (or linear) television has been the gold standard of consumer advertising. And while linear TV is still very much in the game, the mass adoption of OTT/CTV streaming content has opened up a new playing field for marketers to combine the impact and resonance of video ads with the precision of digital audience targeting.


The Problem of Overreach

A huge advantage of TV advertising has always been its massive reach. A company can run a commercial during a popular sitcom or sports game and have it seen by millions of viewers across the country. This is a wonderful thing. However, in the age of digital, reach alone is not enough.

Let’s back up. Whatever the channel, the end goal of any advertising campaign is to get ads in front of the right eyeballs. The idea is not to reach as many people as possible; rather, we want to reach as many of the right people as possible. This way, wasted impressions are minimized and campaign ROI is maximized.

This brings us to linear TV and the issue of reach without precision. A traditional TV commercial may very well be seen by one million viewers, but marketers are quite limited in terms of how precisely they can target any given audience. In other words, they have very little control over who is seeing what. Thus, a significant amount of wasted impressions is not a possibility, it is a certainty. Simply put, marketers need far more precision and granularity than linear TV is capable of providing.


OTT/CTV: The New Paradigm

The good news is that we are evolving as an industry. With OTT/CTV advertising, marketers get the impact of traditional TV ads combined with the precision of digital. Not to mention, marketers have the added advantage of being “show agnostic” in their advertising efforts. What do we mean by that? It no longer matters what the person is watching, as long as the right person is receiving the message. Gone are the days of the only option being buying spot TV ads based on network of TV show hoping the right person is watching.

OTT/CTV advertising allows marketers to serve video ads to the right viewers based on far more effective audience targeting tactics than traditional TV.

However, it is important to keep in mind that not all audience targeting is created equal when it comes to OTT/CTV advertising. Elaborate product descriptors are just buzzwords without the right technology to back them up. At Simpli.fi, we are closer than ever before to true one-to-one marketing with our advanced OTT/CTV solution. Powered by three distinct audience targeting methods, the promise of OTT/CTV advertising has become a reality for our clients. Take a look at our advanced audience targeting capabilities below, as well as some tips for how to apply these targeting capabilities on the ground.

Addressable Targeting

Bringing the best in location-based targeting technology to OTT/CTV advertising, this method represents granularity in audience targeting down to the individual household-level. Simpli.fi achieves significantly more precision by using GPS and plat line data rather than an IP-based approach to target physical addresses so that only the right households and devices get targeted. Simpli.fi’s household-level targeting has set the new standard for how granular a location-based marketing campaign can get.


  • This is an ideal way to leverage your own first-party data from CRMs and other sources. And if you don’t have access to your own address data, Simpli.fi can curate lists for you using our new Addressable Audience Curation tool.
  • Suppose you’re a national Quick Service Restaurant brand running a campaign for a new family dinner combo across specific regions. To drive support for the launch of this new combo, you can specifically target key cities in certain regions by serving OTT/CTV ads to the neighborhoods surrounding your physical locations. Using Simpli.fi’s Addressable Audience Curation tool, you can select certain filters to build this designated addressable audience such as those households that have two of more children, an annual income of more than $50,000, and live within a five-mile radius of the various restaurants that will be offering the new family dinner combo. The end result: the right people are reached, wasted impressions are avoided, and no guesswork is involved.
  • If you’re worried about scale, don’t be. Simpli.fi can reach 126 million U.S. households! And with free list onboarding and the capacity to target one million addresses per campaign with unlimited campaigns, Addressable OTT/CTV targeting can scale as high as you need to go.

Behavioral Targeting

Simpli.fi’s Behavioral targeting method gives advertisers the ability to bring the precision of digital targeting to OTT/CTV by targeting users based on keywords, context, and other online behaviors. Behavioral targeting bridges the gap between OTT/CTV and other online behaviors, reaching across devices using our cross-device matching capabilities.


  • This is ground zero for some of the most exciting things happening in programmatic today. Thanks to the power of cross-device matching, a consumer’s online behaviors (searches, site visits, etc.) can now be used to build OTT/CTV audiences. This gives marketers a whole other targeting route for getting OTT/CTV into the right households.
  • Since Simpli.fi can optimize keywords throughout the course of a campaign, go in some different directions initially to cover more ground, then adjust based on what’s working and what’s not.

Demographic Targeting

Take advantage of numerous combinations of demographic variables to find and target the right audience, at scale, with the highest degree of precision in the industry. And with over 500 categories of household demographic, political, and economic variables to choose from, advertisers can target more than 126 million households.


  • This can be a very powerful way to build an OTT/CTV audience. For example, consider a luxury car brand that wants to run a national ad campaign in conjunction with a new car model. With Simpli.fi’s OTT/CTV demographic targeting, households can be targeted based on variables like income over $150,000 that are in high propensity to be in the market for an auto loan and live within a twenty-mile radius of the dealership. It doesn’t get more granular than that!
  • Demographic gives marketers an array of ways to shape and customize audiences. To make an OTT/CTV campaign even more effective, for example, a marketer might only target those households whose primary residents lean younger or older. With that tweak alone, the ability to reach the right people can dramatically gone up.

The days of wondering who’s watching what are over. Thanks to the opportunities presented by OTT/CTV advertising and Simpli.fi’s three-pronged OTT/CTV targeting solution, marketers can get impactful video ads in front of their chosen audience. It’s no longer about just reaching people; now we’re reaching the right people.

To take a huge step towards true one-on-one marketing through OTT/CTV advertising, reach out to us at hi@simpli.fi.